CWU students make wooden toy cars and planes for needy children in the area - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU students make wooden toy cars and planes for needy children in the area

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ELLENSBURG, Wash.- Santa's elves aren't only in the North Pole, there are 18 of them at Central Washington University. A class of production students made their own toys and are donating them to kids.

This is Santa's workshop, where CWU students spent the day making finishing touches on their toys. For some students, the production class was a part of their major, for others, it was a new way to give back.

"It was really fun, simple projects that require a lot of work and a lot of ingenuity, design and manufacturing," said Sam Kell, a CWU student.

From metal, to wood, to creating their own tools, CWU students made toys from scratch. Professor Bill Cattin says the toys are donated to kids and this is what keeps students so motivated.

"Their emotional involvement in what they're actually doing their efforts go through the roof so all of a sudden, they're putting more time into it, outside of class coming in on weekends," said Cattin, a CWU professor.

This is the third year the university's production class has made toys and this year they made more than ever, 520 toy planes and toy cars.

"Something good for the community, something that looks good for the university and to help just in this time of need. There's going to be a lot of toys that will really get used," said Kell.

Students packed the planes and cars into boxes.  These toys will be delivered to various needy children in Kittitas and Yakima County. As for next year? Students are hoping to make a few hundred more.